David Chartrand grandstanding again?
Tansi/Good Day Readers:
Remember the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which killed many thousands? Shortly thereafter David Chartrand announced the MMF was contributing $25,000 to a United Nations disaster fund which had been established. Great you say?
We received an anonymous e-mail from someone in the Federation's Finance Department saying President Chartrand had been advised headquarers could have trouble meeting its next payroll. The writer went on to describe a situation in which when Mr. Chartrand was given the news his reaction was since the organization was already significantly in debt what was another $25,000? It was at this point the source offered he was grandstanding.
Here's what we'd like you to consider:
(1) For the past couple years, rumours have circulated on the internet the Federation may be as much as $1-2 million in debt
(2) Blogs have reported the Metis National Council could be $3 million in the red with suggestions money may be flowing from the Manitoba Metis Federation to the MNC to keep it afloat
(3) When was an MMF Provincial Board of Directors meeting held passing a Motion to pledge $1 million to The Friends of Upper Fort Garry? What was the vote outcome or is this another case of David Chartrand acting on his own?
(4) When federal-provincial funders give the MMF taxpayer dollars, is any of it specifically earmarked for causes such as this? If so, how much and in which budget line can it be found? In the alternative, is this an expenditure which must be siphoned from elswere?
(5) Note in the Winnipeg Free Press article the federal and provincial governments have already donated.
Why must they now double contribute via the Manitoba Metis Federation?
Please understand. We support this worthy cause, however, we can only conlcude a $1 million donation at this time from the taxpayer funded Manitoba Metis Federation ledership is grandstanding yet again!
Clare L. Pieuk
Saturday, March 29, 2008
David Chartrand grandstanding again?
Posted by MetisMama at 8:17 AM
Metis Mama is glad they are saving a Metis historical site that is significant to all Metis - but David the challenge was - no public purse handouts - Where are you getting the million dollars from or is this more funding applications that the Friends of Fort Garry could have got without you?
Upper Fort Garry site saved
Developer drops apartment plan
Byline:By Bartley Kives
Updated: March 29, 2008 at 12:10 AM CDT
A 10-month struggle that pitted heritage advocates against downtown-housing proponents has ended as the Friends of Upper Fort Garry have won the right to build a historical park at the site of Winnipeg's birthplace.
Late on Friday afternoon, Crystal Developers walked away from a $1.2-million deal for a chunk of surplus city land at the corner of Fort Street and Assiniboine Avenue -- an empty parking lot that had become the most contentious piece of real estate in Winnipeg.
Crystal wanted to erect a 20-storey apartment building at the site, which the Friends coveted for an interpretive centre that would serve as a centrepiece for a $12.5-million heritage project.
The Friends had until Monday to raise $10 million of that cash to secure the site. But the deadline was rendered moot when Crystal offered the group two more years to meet their goal.
"At the current rate, we will raise something like $300 million," Friends spokesman Jerry Gray joked at city hall, noting his volunteer group secured $8.2 million from the public and private donations in only 106 days.
Gray thanked Crystal Developers for their "kindness and generosity" by allowing the Friends "far more than enough" time to complete their fundraising.
Only last week, Crystal owner Ruben Spletzer appeared at city hall to insist a deal was a deal. But he said he had a change of heart after Mayor Sam Katz called to tell him the Friends were about to miss their deadline.
"A week can change someone's mind," said Spletzer, insisting he had not been offered any incentives to walk away from his deal with the city.
"When I saw the efforts of the Friends of Upper Fort Garry and the response from the community, we felt we could make our contribution. As a good citizen in a wonderful city, you do your thing."
Spletzer said Crystal Developers will now focus on a development planned for Sterling Lyon Parkway in southwest Winnipeg before possibly pursuing another downtown housing project.
"My dream is gone, so you set aside your dream and look for another one," he said.
Winnipeg needs to move more quickly to create more downtown housing, said Katz, who also insisted Spletzer's about-face does not signal the city does not honour its deals.
"He did not have to do this. He chose to do this," the mayor said.
Councillors who lobbied on behalf of the Friends of Upper Fort Garry were magnanimous in victory. St. Boniface Coun. Dan Vandal, who jousted bitterly with Katz in recent weeks, congratulated the mayor for "doing the right thing," while Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt said "there are no winners or losers" after a divisive public debate that he concluded is over.
On Monday, the downtown-development boss will chair another closed-door meeting to decide the fate of the former fort -- this time to ensure the establishment of a heritage park.
The Doer government, meanwhile, will still pursue plans to designate Upper Fort Garry a provincial park, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Steve Ashton said.
"It will take some time, but you already have a clearly designated historical site," he said in a telephone interview from Thompson.
The Friends of Upper Fort Garry still have work to do, as the group must purchase Fort Street's Grain Exchange Curling Club, which sits above the northwest corner of Upper Fort Garry's former footprint.
The Friends will also look at redeveloping land currently occupied by a Petro-Canada station at the corner of Broadway and Main Street, but not until some time in the future, Gray said.
To date, the Friends have raised $3 million from the federal and provincial governments and a further $5.2 million from non-governmental sources, including a $1-million pledge made by the Manitoba Metis Federation on Friday.
The surplus city land destined for the heritage park has a market value of approximately $5.5 million, according to city estimates.
Posted by MetisMama at 8:08 AM
A press release came out of the Métis Nation of Alberta yesterday that clearly identifies the latest action of Clem and David’s puppets in Alberta.
Attention News Editors
Dissidents Sabotage Alberta-MNA Framework Agreement
Edmonton, AB (March 28, 2008) – A Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) Provincial Council conference call that was held on March 27 to consider ratification of the Framework Agreement between the Province of Alberta and the MNA had to be suspended because seven dissenting members of Provincial Council refused to make themselves available for the meeting, resulting in an inability to reach quorum.
Over $500,000 in core funding for the MNA head office is at stake through the Alberta-MNA Framework Agreement for 2007-08. Although the Premier of Alberta and the President of the MNA signed the seven-year Framework Agreement last year based on previous Agreements dating back to the 1980’s, the Department of Justice and Aboriginal Relations has taken the position that the Agreement must be ratified by the MNA Provincial Council before it will agree to flow core funding to the MNA Head Office.
“Regrettably, since April 2007, these same seven Council members have attempted to obstruct the normal business functions of the MNA, and all efforts to have the Council approve the Agreement have failed,” MNA President Audrey Poitras said.
In a letter dated March 20, 2008, the Honourable Gene Zwozdesky, the new Minister of Aboriginal Relations, requested that the MNA once again attempt to ratify the Agreement by March 27 or “these funds will lapse and I will have to return these funds to the General Revenue Fund.”
“This was our last chance to have the Framework Agreement ratified,” explained President Poitras. “All members of Provincial Council were notified five days before the meeting that there would be a conference call to review the ratification of the Framework Agreement. But the seven dissenting members of Provincial Council did not call in.”
After it became apparent that there were seven absentees, President Poitras then tried to reach each absentee herself on their home or cellular phones. Not one answered her call. President Poitras is calling on the department of Aboriginal Relations to reconsider its position in light of the irresponsible actions taken by the seven members of Provincial Council.
“The benefits to the Métis community generally should not be lost because a few people want to play politics,” she said. “We must find a way to avoid having seven people sabotage funding the province has agreed to make available to the Métis people living in Alberta.”
The MNA Provincial Council members who participated in the call were Provincial President Audrey Poitras; Region 2 President Karen Collins; Region 2 Vice President Homer Poitras; Region 3 President Marlene Lanz; Region 4 President Cecil Bellrose; Region 6 President Sylvia Johnson; and Region 6 Vice President Louis Bellrose.
Those who did not call in and were unreachable at the time of the call were: Provincial Vice President Trevor Gladue; Region 1 President Ken Bourque; Region 1 Vice President Rick Boucher; Region 3 Vice President Joe Chodzicki; Region 4 Vice President Tim Collins; Region 5 President Bev New; and Region 5 Vice President Elmer Gullion.
For additional information contact:
Ph: (780) 455-2200
To access the press release and the letter from the new Minister go to the following website:
Posted by MetisMama at 6:31 AM
Friday, March 28, 2008
An Anonymous Contributor submitted this to post on the blog in relation to tomorrow’s meeting:
Tomorrow is a Special Assembly in Edmonton, Alberta. The elected officials of the Métis Nation of Alberta are fearful. They have walked around and told people how bad it is – but in the next breath all they talk about is their money.
The Special Assembly is a product of a resolution that unanimously passed at the Annual meeting in St. Paul, Alberta. It has us looking at dividing the existing electoral boundaries from 6 to 12 and having one elected official per electoral region. The resolution does not magically do anything else – with the exception that the resolution will not throw out anyone that is in an electoral position at this time. The changes will only take effect for the upcoming election in September.
The existing elected leadership keeps yelling - How will we afford this? Well how do we afford it now? We have two representatives per electoral boundary now – so we will change from 12 regional representatives to 12 regional representatives. The difference is that instead of a President and Vice President per region we will have one elected person per region. Right now – all the Vice Presidents of the Métis Nation of Alberta do not have a role. They all go around collecting a pay cheque and do not have to be accountable to the people that elect them because they all tell people they have to go to the President.
The reason that some of them are threatened by the change is that they are afraid of the change in the balance of power. Where did their votes come from? Will they have enough votes to get in again? Well – it will mean they have to work to get elected and talk to the people – get to know the change in the boundaries and develop a new base of power.
The other reason for consideration of the change of boundaries is that it is not perfect boundary lines but it is better reflective of the Métis population. Right now one of the regions represents almost 40% of the Métis population of Alberta. Between Region 3 & 4 they represent almost 70% of the Métis population.
There have been individuals who have tried to say the bylaws will change and there is more control for some over the others – none of that is true – the only thing that is being recommended for bylaws is changing from 6 to 12. There are no massive changes to the existing bylaws.
My understanding is there is a framework for a draft constitution being recommended in a second resolution but that is a different resolution that is only looking at the development of a living working document that will be implemented and worked on over time. It will have the Métis Nation of Alberta Association with bylaws for their corporate required structure but the building of their governance structure beginning outside of the societies act. This is not such a big deal – the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan, the Métis Nation of British Columbia and the Métis Nation of Ontario all have this structure – we are not breaking any new ground – just trying to catch up.
Don’t let the fear mongering of elected officials determine what is right for our nation. Some of them have already shown us that they are not working on our behalf most of the time.
Sounds like everyone should attend. For more information on the meeting please refer to an earlier post NOTICE TO MEMBERS OF THE MÉTIS NATION OF ALBERTA http://metisbarefacts.blogspot.com/2008/03/notice-to-members-of-mtis-nation-of.html
Posted by MetisMama at 8:17 AM
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Friends of Upper Fort Garry seemed to be a positive place to save a historical site.
This article from CTV describes the latest in the issue of Upper Fort Garry but Mr. David Chartrand wants to make sure that it is more then a couple of park benches. Here is your challenge, President Chartrand – you want a legacy for your leadership – the Manitoba Métis Federation should demonstrate self sufficiency and instead of a line budget item called legal fees for suing Metis people generate the revenue and operate and run this Métis historical site for the future generations. Make it a revenue bearing project that will create tourism, employment opportunities and no government hand outs for the development of your interpretative centre. You should like this idea – it will give you a legacy, it will give the Métis people something to feel proud about and it will help ensure that the history that is recanted for tourists is of the true Métis – not the government controlled propaganda that we often find in text books. Come on Mr. President – they might even call it the David Chartrand Building – but remember NO GOVERNMENT MONEY – just like our founding fathers did it!
Posted by MetisMama at 6:23 PM
Open Letter to Clem Chartier:
Word has come that you are writing nasty letters to some of your Board of Governors.
Remember 5 weeks ago Clem you were re-elected and you committed publicly at the Assembly that you would work with all the Board of Governors to build the nation. In fact you did an interview with the Winnipeg Free Press and said – “focus now is getting the Métis nation united. "We have agreed to turn the page," said Chartier. "I have no negative feelings towards anyone who ran against me, or voted against me -- put that behind us." He feels the outcome of all this is a positive one.
Well in 5 weeks you have yet to work with anyone but David Chartrand. It was reported that you have received money. You write in your Fact Sheet "made significant progress in our financial and administrative structures to increase accountability and build the foundation upon which greater political growth can be achieved.” How are you doing that when you have not even tried to have a Board of Governors meeting? David and you are signing cheques – the money is being funneled through Manitoba Métis Federation and the other BOG members are not aware of where the money is being spent.
The Board of Governors hold the liability for the funds that MNC receives – you will not even have a meeting or have not completed one source of reporting to identify what David and you are doing. Now writing letters to the MNBC trying to create an ever ending battle is not conducive to putting this behind us.
Oh yea – we are hearing from your vendors – you have indicated in your “Fact Sheet” that you reduced payments to your vendors from 120 days to 30 days. Well that is not true – is it? Some of your vendors have been waiting since May or June, 2007 to receive payment on their past due accounts. You claim you were working on policies over the past year – when was that – between Board of Governors meetings or are you like Dale LeClair, your past CAO, who just fabricated policies as issues came up. Don’t the policies have to be approved by the BOG? Would that not require a BOG meeting?
We thought that maybe you were waiting to call a meeting until you had funds – but you have received funds – over a half a million dollars from the Métis Interlocutor’s office has been sent to you since you were elected. Still no BOG meeting. Have David and you paid your legal expenses with this money? Have you paid yourselves your alleged damages with these funds? Does not sound like significant progress on financial accountability to some of us.
There are also rumors that you are trying to bring back your good buddy Mr. Dale LeClair as your Chief Administrative Officer. Being that this position works for the Board of Governors – are you going to consult with the other BOG members to seek approval on this decision? There are many questions and very few answers. We have attitude and ego with no political foresight.
Clem, you and David like to point the finger at other BOG members and blame everyone else for your problems – but remember the grandmothers who told you about the four fingers pointing back at you. You are a real lawyer where you publicly put out words but your feet are heading in the opposite direction. Step up Clem – be a leader – you wanted the mess and ran to be the head of it – now face the music – call a Board of Governors meeting and get the parties to the table to resolve these issues. There is no room for the political egos of any of the leaders today and the longer this carries on the more embarrassing it is for all of us.
Posted by MetisMama at 8:23 AM
Saturday, March 22, 2008
I was asked and have meant to write about Métis Nationalism and how do we get there? The debate of being a Canadian probably fueled this argument but debate is good. It helps us to understand our beliefs and has us ensure that we truly support and understand those beliefs.
As a young girl growing up - a young woman in our community - I listened to many of our past leaders, sometimes with great admiration. People like Stan Daniels, Harry the Dog Daniels, Jim Sinclair, Yvon Dumont, many of the mothers of Metisism like Maria Campbell, Emma Larocque and Tantoo Cardinal, the grandmothers and grandfathers back home who all spoke with the passion and understanding that is only a result of our shared experiences. Some of these individuals have lived and continue to live their life fighting for the Métis Nationalism that has been bred in us.
The stories of our fore fathers like Guillaume Sayer, Cuthbert Grant, Louis Riel, Gabriel Dumont, Pascal Breland, James Brady, Malcolm Norris, Adrian Hope and many more have helped us to stay committed to the conceptual ideology of Métis Nationalism.
Nationalism is defined as a feeling of community among a people, based on common ties of their descent, history, culture, language, and religion. Harry Daniels once said, “Métis nationalism is Canadian nationalism – We embody the true spirit of Canada and are the source of Canadian identity. The birth of the Métis Nation is at the crossroads of the Old and New Worlds where the European and Indian peoples came together. Our country is the home of people from all over the world. Their blood flows in our veins as does that of our Indian cousins. We have taken the best of both worlds to build the Métis Nation. Our home is Canada.”
The Métis since the 1800’s have fought sometimes with armed resistance for their land, property and human rights. Historically we were called the Road Allowance people because we did not own title to our land but in spite of the challenges there has always been a growing sense of political and social activism. Many of the Provincial Representative organizations and communities since the late 1700’s have had objectives that strive to better the political, social, cultural and economic life of the Métis. They have tried to address issues of poverty, lack of education, lack of employment, displacement and land and hunting issues. They have also been about preserving the heritage, language and culture of the Métis people. They have talked about the right for to be self determining and self governing.
The trick to all of that is the debate about are we a sovereign state? How are you a nation within a nation? I do not see this as challenging as maybe some do because historically we have demonstrated that we can work for the betterment of Canada while keeping our unique identity, heritage and value system. We are an asset to the mosaic of Canada and having our own Nationalism does not take away from Canada as a country. There are many nations within this nation and the greatest lesson we can learn from that is to understand, value and respect our differences. We have worked not to be victims of an ever changing world but survivors of it.
Our strength as a Nation of people has always been and still is the Métis people themselves. We have generally worked as a collective with a commitment and will to build our nation.
Right now we have some problems – but not to the point where are ideology of who we are can not be overcome. I truly believe that in these days of what we see some of our political leaders doing – for themselves – gives us at a community level the opportunity to reengage and bring back what is important as a Nation. The Métis National Council was formed in the early 1980’s so that the Métis people would have an opportunity to have a voice at the National level during the debate for the Canadian Constitution. They were about developing processes to ensure that Métis people had participation in moving forward with self government and self determination. They were never about being the program delivery from Ottawa. That was suppose to be the regional organizations who remained involved in bringing forward the programs and opportunities for the community.
If we are to rebuild or develop a new National organization, it needs to be based on a democratic, fair, accountable and responsible government that values honesty, integrity, transparency, self reliance and self sufficiency. It needs to be focused on the collective and individuals rights of the Métis people where the heart of the Métis culture can be preserved along with their rich history, language and that the future of our young will be able to identify with our proud heritage.
To continue with Nation building we need to construct a structure that develops and implements a constitution that treats all Métis equally across the Nation. The basis of developing social harmony and economic growth across the entire nation – not just the three historical provinces – will have us valuing the historical perspective that our past leaders fought for which was to be treated equally and fairly. Democracy – will have us all being a part of the nation and having a say in the direction that the Metis Nation takes in the future. I look forward to the time that our institutions and structures bring together our elders, our past leaders, our future leaders and the people of the community in a process that values and respects the collective interests of the Métis Nation. The elected leaders need to be transparent and focused on the needs of their people not their personal agendas. I believe that if we all take our responsibility seriously … we can make some of our past leaders very proud of where we take what they began.
Posted by MetisMama at 8:43 AM
Thursday, March 20, 2008
I have had an ongoing suspicion about some things I have seen on APTN National News as of late. Now the truth is – I am not sure how many people actually use this as a news source but often when I have checked I find that they are a biased, inaccurate and somewhat like the Aboriginal Enquirer. They like to report stories based on gossip, innuendo and without collaborating evidence. Who holds these publicly funded television stations accountable for the lack of investigative reporting that is required to validate a story? As is the case with this story:
The Métis National Council and the Métis Nation of Alberta has appeared quite one sided and without factual information to back up the presentations that are made. A couple of nights ago – APTN reported that Rick Boucher is innocent and is cleared from all allegations.
I had reported in an earlier post that the report I had from the courthouse on March 13, 2008 was that Justice Binder heard arguments and that vindication was not imminent until the matter was dealt with.
The case is based on Rick Boucher’s legal counsel identifying that Rick had an unfair, biased hearing before the Judiciary Council. The hearing is not about whether he is innocent or guilty. (We will try and access the public court records for the claim that has been put forward.) Justice Binder did listen to Rick’s legal counsel’s presentation about some new case law that had been recently handed down in relationship to what is reasonable and he did give each party the opportunity to present briefings on the new case law and the effect it will have on this case. He would not give Rick's legal counsel an adjournment like they requested. Rick’s counsel has until March 26, 2008 to present the briefings and the Judiciary Council’s and Métis Nation of Alberta’s legal counsel have until April 9, 2008 to respond with their own briefings. The decision will come down at some later date up to 3 months after that.
Now it is true no one can determine the outcome of the hearing – unless there is a very accurate Crystal Ball in Rick’s lawyer’s office – but to hear Rick Boucher and Ken Bourque tell the story – it is done. In fact, I have heard that there is a letter that was disseminated earlier this week indicating that Rick is going to sue the majority of the Provincial Council of the Métis Nation of Alberta for slander and maligning his name. We do have to remember though – they did go to court in late November or early December initially to file the complaint against the decision. They Judge put a hold on the case because there was no decision that had been rendered by the Judiciary Council. The Judge then advised the various parties that the Judiciary Council could release their decision and only then would Mr. Boucher have the opportunity to appeal or move forward on his complaint.
Today a Press Release was release by the Métis Nation of Alberta that does not speak to vindication – and funny thing is the courts work on the basis of actuals not crystal balls. So maybe going back to my first point – someone needs to keep APTN in on the current facts and leave the fairytales to Hollywood.
Press Release Attention News Editors
Conflict of Interest Case in the Hands of Provincial Judge
Edmonton, AB (March 20, 2008) – Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA), confirmed today that the court decision respecting the conflict of interest charges against Rick Boucher has yet to be rendered, contrary to some claims being circulated in the community.
“The matter is now before a Provincial Court Judge and it would be premature for anyone to
predict how the judge will rule,” she said.
On December 18, 2007, the MNA Judiciary Council, the judicial arm of the MNA, found
Boucher in conflict of interest for using a company he owned to sign an agreement with the Métis National Council regarding certain Health Canada funding, when, as a member of MNA Provincial Council, he had earlier voted in favour of a motion for the MNA to pursue a direct
bilateral agreement with Health Canada for the same funding.
Boucher contested the Judiciary Council decision in Provincial Court and Justice Binder heard the case on March 14, 2008. The judge will issue his decision within the next three months. “There are many issues at stake in this court action,” President Poitras said. “Not least of which is the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Council.”
“Throughout this process, Mr. Boucher and his lawyers used every technicality argument they could possibly think of to undermine the powers and authority of the Judiciary Council and to escape prosecution.”
“During the course of the hearing on March 13th, they raised certain technical issues around the wording of the Conflict of Interest provisions of the MNA By-Laws, and Mr. Boucher now claims that our lawyer conceded that he was not in conflict of interest. This is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. We continue to maintain Mr. Boucher’s conduct amounts to a conflict of interest and was gravely detrimental to the interests of the MNA and this was made clear at the hearing.”
President Poitras hopes ultimately justice will be served and the authority of the MNA Judiciary
Council will be upheld.
“The MNA must and will abide by the law,” she said. “And now we must all wait on how the
judge will rule in this important case before any side can claim victory.”
For additional information contact:
Ph: (780) 455-2200
Posted by MetisMama at 11:18 AM
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The Statement in its’ entirety will be posted on http://cybersmokeblog.blogspot.com/.
I will note a few things that you will find on the Statement that are of interest:
It clearly identifies that Clem Chartier did not suffer damages because he was paid his wages and exuberant benefits until October 12th, 2008.
The Statement of Defense states that MMF did not suffer any damages and had no legal legitimate claim to be a part of the Statement of Claim.
Now down to the issue of the “Betterment of the Nation” and “For the Métis People” like David claims. When you read the Statement of Claim and the Statement of Defense – it looks more like the betterment of David Chartrand, President of MMF.
The Statement of Defense clearly dealt with the issue of Metco Ventures and the irregularities of the Health Agreement.
Removal of President Necessary and in Substantial Compliance with the MNC Bylaws
21. With knowledge of the invalidity of the extension of his term, Plaintiff Chartier continued to act as President of the MNC after October 23, 2006. To the knowledge of the plaintiffs and as evidenced by the vote on the extension of his term, Plaintiff Chartier did not enjoy the support of the majority of the Board of Governors with respect to his continuing role as president of the MNC.
22. Subsequent to October 23, 2006, concerns arose among the Defendant Presidents over a health contract (referred to in the statement of claim) that was entered into in March and July, 2007 between the MNC and a private Alberta company by the name of Metco Ventures Inc (“Metco Contract”).
23. The Canadian federal government under a global agreement with the MNC (“Contribution Agreement”) was to advance substantial funds to the MNC for subsequent distribution within the Metis Nation through the auspices and under the oversight of the Provincial Governing Members for health related purposes as set out in that agreement.
24. The Metco Contract had been entered into without proper Board of Governors authorization. It had been signed only by the President of the Plaintiff MMF, President Chartrand, with the support of Plaintiff Chartier.
25. The Metco Contract did not have the support of the MNA although it was targeted at delivering services to the Metis people of Alberta. It had instead the support of only some of the leaders of one of the zones within the MNA (known as Zone I). The owner of Metco Ventures Inc. is also the vice president of Zone I and a member of the MNA provincial council.
26. Over a million dollars were to be provided under the Metco Contract to Metco. In addition to the concern over a possible conflict of interest noted above, there were also concerns on the part of the Defendant Presidents about whether the funds being advanced under this contract (also under the signing authority of the President of the Plaintiff MMF) were being used as required by the terms of the Contribution Agreement and the Metco Contract.
27. The Metco Contract and the subsequent flow of funds from the MNC to Zone I of the MNA both took place in a manner which improperly circumvented the MNC as well as the governing body of the MNA, including the Defendant President Poitras, and broke with the established practice of non-interference by the MNC in the affairs of the Provincial Governing Members.
28. The Defendant Presidents therefore sought a meeting of the Board of Governors for the purpose of considering these issues on a number of occasions. In time it became clear to them that the plaintiffs were not willing to address these issues in this manner or at all. Without the support of the Plaintiff MMF’s President (President Chartrand), which support they sought but was refused, the Defendant Presidents were unable to convene such a meeting on their own.
David has and still does present Audrey Poitras as the sole one responsible for many of these issues – but based on a read of the Statement of Claim – the majority of the Board of Governors were working hard to maintain the integrity and accountability of an organization that is now on its’ last breath.
The point I would like to end on for now is the fact that the Statement of Defense clearly states the concern with Clem and David with their Abuse of Authority and Breach of Fiduciary Duty. The Statement of Defense clearly lays out the position that:
39. The actions of the plaintiffs disregarded the wishes of a majority of the MNC Board of Governors and were intended to further improper and/or unlawful activity with regard to the Metco Contract and prevent the Board of Governors from inquiring into potential instances of nepotism and financial mis-management within the MNC.
40. Their actions were also designed and intended to unfairly influence the electoral prospects of Plaintiff Chartier at the upcoming General Assembly, all to the detriment of the MNC, its processes and traditions, and against the unity of the Metis Nation.
Gives one a moment to go – I wonder …. what could have been had he not been re-elected?
Posted by MetisMama at 3:31 PM
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
NOTICE OF A SPECIAL MEETING
Métis Nation of Alberta Special Meeting
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Ramada (Edmonton) Inn
11834 Kingsway NW
9:00 a.m. Start
In accordance with the Bylaws of the Métis Nation of Alberta, NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a Special Meeting of the Métis Nation of Alberta will be held on March 29, 2008 in Edmonton, Alberta. The order of business will be to deal with the following resolution:
Whereas: The Métis people of Alberta for many years have requested that we look at becoming a Nation of people and move from a Society Act to a constitutionally run Nation of people; and
Whereas: The Métis Nation of Alberta since 1928 and through its’ representation of Métis people in Alberta; and
Whereas: The Métis Nation has its’ origin in the Métis Homeland; its institutions are defined within its’ history through the Métis Homeland and where the Métis Nation of British Columbia, the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan, and the Métis Nation of Ontario have also adopted constitutions which make them apart of the Métis Nation of Canada which are reflected within the Métis National Council, and
So Therefore Be It Resolved That:
That the Métis Nation of Alberta host a Special Assembly in February 2008 with two purposes in mind. The first being that the development of the constituency boundaries that will reflect a representative structure of twelve (12) constituencies with one (1) elected representative per constituency and one (1) provincially elected President. The consultation of these boundaries will follow the process that will have input from the communities and the provincial council and be put before the Judiciary Council for recommendations. The options for boundary changes will then be put before the Special Assembly in the form of a Special Resolution that will assist in identifying boundaries that meet the community needs.
And So Therefore Be It Resolved that:
The Métis Nation of Alberta work through the Minister of Métis Rights and develop a draft constitution that recognizes the work and consultation of past commissions, Métis provincial bodies and the other literature reviews that are necessary.
Upon the development of a draft constitution that a Special Assembly will be hosted in February 2008 with the sole purpose of reviewing and adopting a Constitutional Governance Structure that meets the needs and will of the Métis people in
Alberta. The constitution will work to incorporate the guiding principles, fundamental rights inherent to the Métis people, the governance structure by which we govern ourselves including the bodies of the Elders Council, Judiciary Council, Ministerial Jurisdictions and authorities. The constitution should include the initial acts of Citizenship, Election, Governing Assembly structures, Oaths of Office and the role and responsibility of the authorities within our governing structures, an amendment formula for changing or amending the constitution and other acts of powers and jurisdiction that is determined by the research of previous work and consultations.
And Therefore Further Be It Resolved that:
The Métis Nation of Albert will implement the constitution to be prior to the 2008 Métis Nation elections so that the newly elected officials will have a mandate and structure for which they agree to govern the Métis Nation of Alberta.
Métis Nation of Alberta
Posted by MetisMama at 7:06 AM
Friday, March 14, 2008
Métis Mama was asked to submit the Statement of Claim for Clem Chartier and the MMF against the MNC to http://cybersmokeblog.blogspot.com/. The entire text for the 23 page claim will be posted by the looks of things. Check it out – people are invited to view for themselves…
As for the story of the Statement – the case has never been taken to court and the story is Clem and David’s interpretation of facts.
Posted by MetisMama at 1:39 PM
Well – last evening Trevor left a comment on the blog to say Rick had been vindicated. Well as in all things – Métis Mama checks. Thanks again for those who choose to report the reality. Still no vindication for Rick in Alberta.
The Métis Mama source was told that Rick’s lawyer tried to get a further adjournment on his case of “He had an unfair hearing”. The judge denied the request. (Sound like he’s winning yet? or Whining? – hmmm..) The case was argued and the judge did identify that one part of the case law that needed to be considered due to a recent case law precedence setting case - needed to be argued so the case is still held over. Rick’s lawyer has till March 26 to submit a briefing in relation to the new case law and Audrey’s lawyer has till April 9, 2008 to respond. A written decision will be submitted by Justice Shaw at some later date which has yet to be determined.
Maybe for Trevor, David and their friends the definition of vindication is necessary –
Based on the Cambridge Dictionary:
1 to prove that what someone said or did was right or true, after other people thought it was wrong:
2 to prove that someone is free from guilt or blame, after other people blamed them:
Patience boys – you can not be vindicated till its’ over and there is a big road in front of each of you – including the forensic audit.
Posted by MetisMama at 8:38 AM
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Clem and David's Statement of Claim is 23 pages in length but it follows an interesting story. Some interesting things to take note of are the dates.
July 31, 2007 a BOG Meeting reviews two legal opinions and decided that Clem Chartier’s Term of Office is done and he needs to step down and wait till he is re-elected to continue.
Clem and David advise the other four BOG members that they are filing a statement of claim. August 3, 2007 David Chartrand published a press release that indicated that he was proceeding with legal action based on unanimous support of the MMF Board of Directors.
August 23, 2007 President Chartrand submitted another Press Release saying, “President David Chartrand announced today that a court injunction is being sought to protect democracy and restore order to the Métis National Council. The matter will be heard before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on September 6th 2007.” http://mmf.mb.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=456&Itemid=2
September 6, 2007 David submitted another Press Release that indicated that, “the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) and the Métis National Council (MNC) President Clem Chartier were successful in obtaining a Court Order bringing to a half the actions of some members of the Board of Governors.”
September 17, 2007 David then identifies that they are vindicated and that the courts had ordered a MNC Assembly for October 13 and 14, 2007.
Pay attention to the dates because now we come to the Statement of Claim that they indicate was filed by August 23, 2007. The MNC's and 4 BOG members lawyer, David Debenham from Lang Michner had searched for the alleged Statement of Claim sround September 8, 2007. He was unable to access it back then.
The four Board of Governors and their legal counsel were not able to access it until the first week of December because David, Clem or their legal counsel never did deliver it to them. In November, after the failed MNC Assembly in October the four BOG members had to engage a new lawyer that came from Fraser Milner Casgrain law firm. He searched the Claim out and disseminated it to the parties named.
You will note that the Statement of Claim indicates it was developed on August 21, 2007 but the court stamp of when it was filed was SEPTEMBER 20, 2007 well after the courts had ordered the MNC Assembly for October 13 and 14, 2007. They did not serve the names on the Statement and as far as it is known at this time – the statement still sits as Mr. Clem Chartier seeking damages for wrongful dismissal in the amount of $200,000.00 and aggravated and or punitive damages in the amount of $100,000.00. He also request pre and post judgment interest, costs on the cost of the action, GST and any other relief the court will permit.
I will post some of the pages at this time as they will demonstrate the story that has just been shared. My only question is – that being this deceit was perpetuated even after as David calls it – “They were vindicated” – why proceed with a means to get more money. In fact – what damages Clem the MNC continued to pay your salary and wages into October. Were the damages the loss of your exuberant travel expenses?
Posted by MetisMama at 5:52 PM
Monday, March 10, 2008
BC Brings an End to Why? Pay Attention - It is No Financial or Political Accountability Coming From Elected Leaders Clem and David
This was released today from the MNBC. They are on the top of their game and we will see if Clem even provides a response. It will be interesting. [Click on the image for a larger view.] The text reads as follows:
Métis National Council (MNC)
Suite 201, 350 Sparks Street
Re: Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) follow up to March 3rd, 2008 correspondence
Dear MNC President Chartier,
Please accept this MNBC correspondence as follow up to the MNBC letter dated Monday, March 3rd, 2008 sent to your attention. In the March 3rd, 2008 letter MNBC indicated that additional concerns would be provided in writing shortly to allow you as the MNC President an opportunity address and respond to MNBC issues in writing.
On March 3rd, 2008 MNBC communicated our serious concerns in relation to the Health Canada resources that support MNBC with the Aboriginal Health Human Resource Initiative and Aboriginal Health Transition Funds for 2007-2008. Presently March is the final month of the current fiscal year and MNBC has yet to receive any response to the financial responsibilities owed to the MNBC or its Métis students awaiting scholarships and bursaries. Therefore MNBC is seeking a formal response from you in writing to outline your proposed next steps as soon as possible.
In addition the MNBC Board of Directors is seeking your clarification to the following items:
MNBC remains concerned regarding the corporate stability and lack of transparency related to the financial affairs of the Métis National Council Secretariat Inc. MNBC raised considerable dissatisfaction with the 2006-2007 MNC Secretariat Inc. Financial Statements in November 2007 by submitting two official MNBC communications dated November 1st, 2007 and November 15th, 2007. MNBC did not receive full disclosure or transparency regarding the questions identified in the MNBC correspondences. The MNBC letters in November raised serious questions in relation to possible MNC overpayments. MNBC has been made aware of possible overpayments regarding MNC expenditures and there has been no clear answers or clarification from the MNC. As a non-founding member MNBC is requesting you as the President to clarify whether or not there are any overpayments regarding any of the funding administered by the MNC. MNBC is requesting a response in writing and if there are any overpayments, MNBC is seeking the clarification on the amounts in question and the Contributions Agreements affected.
MNC was officially placed in default by Health Canada in January 2008. What steps have you as the MNC President initiated to address the issues that have placed the MNC in default? Are you prepared to outline the issues in writing with the MNC Board of Governors that caused the default to occur? Please explain.
MNC currently has an outstanding list of payables in January 2008 that totaled approximately $3.1 million and very few of the MNC Contribution Agreements were signed for this fiscal year (2007-2008). What steps are you taking to address the outstanding payables? Please explain.
MNBC is unaware of MNC support or any strategy for the Post 2009 Métis Human Resource Development Agreement (MHRDA) program with Service Canada. The MHRDA is very important to the MNBC and the 1000 employment and training clients we serve each year. According to the 2006-2007 MNC Secretariat Inc. Financial Statements MNC utilized resources from Service Canada to support work in the area of employment and training. MNC typically utilized the annual allocation to organize the MHRDA technical working group that is composed of representatives from the Métis Nation Governing Members including the MNBC. There have been no demonstrable efforts made by the MNC this past year to support MNBC’s policy needs for Post 2009. The timeline to meaningfully negotiate MHRDA services delivered by the Métis Nation British Columbia is limited. Service Canada is developing a submission to cabinet regarding the Post 2009 process shortly. What steps are you as the President taking to address this very important file?
MNBC is very concerned about existing MNC Secretariat Inc. legal challenges. During the recent Métis National Council General Assembly you were elected the new leader. However, during your acceptance speech you did not clarify your position in relation to the current lawsuit that you have brought against the MNC itself last August 2007. As a non-founding member MNBC would like you to provide your position in relation to the current lawsuit. Are you still seeking alleged damages?
MNBC is also concerned that one of the Founding Members (Manitoba Métis Federation) was also involved in the legal action brought against the MNC Board of Governors last August. Has there been a request by MMF President Chartrand for reimbursement of legal costs to support your case?
MNBC is seeking your immediate attention to these important matters. MNBC is also still awaiting a response to the March 3rd, 2008 letter regarding Health Canada funding owed to MNBC as per our signed Memorandum of Understanding.
cc Métis National Council Board of Governors
Métis Nation British Columbia Board of Directors
MNBC Métis Chartered Communities
MNBC Governance and Policy Committee’s
ADM Fred Caron, Office of the Federal Interlocutor
ADM Ian Potter, Health Canada
Parliamentary Secretary for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Office of the
Honourable Rob Bruinooge
Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Honourable Chuck Strahl
Posted by MetisMama at 2:36 PM
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Métis Mama is a pseudonym that we use to write. Last Friday one of our fellow bloggers posted the following on his website:
"Who was that masked woman?
A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty, "Hi Yo Silver!" The Lone Rangeress. "Hi Yo Silver, away!" With her faithful Indian companion Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rideress of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early west. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. The Lone Rangeress rides again!"
Pictures of my ole mule come to mind and I lost my Indian companion (he’s doing commercials for Lakota Canada) … Thank you I have enjoyed a good laugh and it inspiring – but I felt I should answer a few questions that were asked or comments that were made. I know blogging is Anonymous at best – Clare – I used to read CyberSmoke a very long time ago – when your site was one of the first – before you were sued. I always thought you were a woman – until recently. Now you wonder if I really am a woman – believe me I am not confused about my sexuality and the children that I bore are a testament to that.
I do enjoy the thought though of being the “masked rideress of the plains that led the fight for law and order in the early west.”
Who paid for my trip to Ottawa? Did I miss the flight? I must be a fly on the wall and took the cheap flight. The MNC – the MNA or any other Metis organization did not take Metis Mama to Ottawa – but maybe if they would like to – she might be interested in a visit to Shelia Fraser, Auditor General of Canada. Hmmm – any takers? David or Clem would you like me to talk to the Auditor General on behalf of the tax paying Metis citizens? Ya – probably not – guess I won’t be going to Ottawa on those Metis dollars.
As for the MNA President selecting people that were not the elected representatives for her delegates – I have not thought about it much but now that you pose the question – I think the first thing I should say is she should have. Why she didn’t? I honestly do not know for sure but my guess would be it was politically better to take people of the same thought to try and work towards the end of Clem’s reign. Obviously, it would have changed the outcome. I will also say this – over the past decade or more – there has been a history of the Board of Governors hand picking their delegates. Have any of them not been guilty of the same thing? I doubt it – I even remember when Oliver, MMF’s CEO was a voting delegate at an annual meeting – never elected but a delegate all the same. In Alberta, some of our elected delegates supported sending other Local Presidents in the past and identifying them as voting delegates because they went for the holiday and the party and it would mean these other individuals could sit at the table and participate while they drank up a storm. Some of those Local Presidents have been more responsive and representative then the regional leaders. I would also be able to provide you with the delegate list for the MNC Assembly including alternate delegates because I accessed the court mediated order that Justice Ducharme released. My copy came from Cindy Miller at MMF but I am sure that you could get it through the court process.
I am not one of the elected leaders – at this time - but who knows – maybe Metis Mama should run soon. lol But truly folks this is not about Metis Mama it is more about the number of people who have come to me and identified that we need mechanisms to communicate with our community and its’ working.
Posted by MetisMama at 7:49 PM
More news from Métis land. I was given a letter that was sent to the MNC Board of Governors. I will try to scan and post the original document but it reads as follows:
House of Commons
Chambre Des Communes
February 25, 2008
Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South
Député de Winnipeg-Sud
Honorable Tony Clements
Minister of Health
Dear Minister Clement,
I hope that you are well. It has come to my attention that there are very justifiable concerns regarding the use of health funding dollars previously provided to the Métis National Council in 2007. The concern results specifically from Health Canada dollars that were allocated to a company called Med Co in Alberta.
I would like to request that a forensic audit take place which will determine whether the public funding provided to the MNC for health services was in fact used for health purposes and in accord with the agreement.
Parliamentary Secretary to
The Minister of Indian Affairs and
MNBC - Now for some other ideas – there has been much said about the MNBC – “Leave of Absence” from the Métis National Council. What exactly does that mean? I have confirmed one thing – there was a meeting that included the MNBC Board and the Chairs of the Community Councils who supported the position of taking the Leave of Absence.
I am not here to defend what they are doing because I am only guessing but here is what I have been able to find on the issues of the Health dollars in relation to them. Based on comments on some of the blogs the Métis youth of BC seemed to have been screwed over for their money that was committed and I did see that in the letter that BC released earlier in the week that they mention that MNC owes them $207,000 in the Human Resource Health Dollars. Based on the audit the agreement for MNBC was they were to received $270,154.00 and as of March 31, 2007 they had not received the money. (Just for curiosity this compares to the $976,122 that MMF received prior to March 31, 2007- have you in MB heard about $900,000 worth of health scholarships released?) Back to BC – so it may be that they received just over $ 63,000 which would have been the resources to advertise, promote and set up the capacity to deliver on the scholarship money and then once they set up the youth to get the money – MNC did not send it. I have not been told this but reviewing the letter and the audit – it makes you wonder.
The next question to explore is that the MNBC feel screwed over because Bruce did not get in as President of MNC. I have a few things that I want to share – first if that is the case – “Suck it Up!” You know they referred to the Métis as the “Flower People” and I always thought they were talking about the beautiful bead work and embroidery that our grandmothers did. I now know that our Métis politicians thought it meant a love fest as in “Flower Child” from the 1960’s. You all screwed each other – including BC when you thought putting your President up – as if he were the sacrificial lamb – was a great solution. Well it was – it guaranteed Clem’s success. Who screwed who first – for those of us sitting in the west waiting for you fools to mess up – we all hope you enjoyed your new sexual revolution – because the only thing you guaranteed was the end of MNC. It was time to clean house and fix the misrepresentation of our people. As long as Clem got elected it was almost assured that the Federal Government was not going to let everything be status quo. Now the house will be swept clean and the allegations can end – the truth can be what defines us. The community demands accountability and responsibility from their leaders – that is a good thing.
If MNBC has chosen to take leave because of the legal liability of the situation – maybe the other provincial organizations that have not had control of the finances over the past year and some – should consider their options too. But leave or no leave – I am sure that the finger pointing has not ended and there certainly will be enough blame to go around for everyone.
Posted by MetisMama at 11:08 AM
Ok – Métis Mama is on a learning curve with Blogging. When I set up the post the other day about the “Cultural Genocide” I was not referring to the Métis Nation. I was sent a post that was copied from another Blogger that I do not know. I was not impressed and I did not post it – It was more then disgusting, racist and defamatory to First Nations people. Now I know that everyone has an ability to express their personal opinion but in my opinion racial profiling of any group of people is just wrong. The cultural genocide/assimilation that I was inferring to is more the genocide of the First Nation people. For anyone that does not believe it existed read the history about the Beothuk people of the east coast when the Vikings arrived. Or refresh your history around the documented stories in relation to the alleged germ warfare that Lord Jeffery Amherst allegedly perpetuated during the Seven Year War in the mid 1700’s when he took Canada from the French from the British.
I am humored though – now we have gone from sharing views about a Métis Land Claim Case to somehow being identified by Frank Goden as a non working, non functional race of people seeking government handouts. I do understand that we are a part of our experiences and I do not know Frank’s experience – but I do know this – I frankly (no pun intended) do not have the experience of my community looking for handouts. I believe I have expressed in the past the great pride that so many in our community have that government hand outs were not my experience. In fact, I do not believe that I have ever presented us as a disadvantaged victim group of people. In spite of our history – we are strong, vibrant and working to right the wrongs of our community by setting an example of contributing citizens of our nation.
As for ‘Cultural Assimilation’ - I do not need to assimilate or support its’ existence neither – I much prefer ‘Cultural Pluralism’. Cultural Pluralism is what Louis Riel wrote about and it values all the members of society including the uniqueness of everyone’s cultural identity. In a pluralistic culture no one has to alter their identity to co exist. The last issue that I wish to address is the marginalizing of our culture by trying to define it through a fiddle, jig and sash. Anthropological definition of culture is the sum total of ways of living built by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another. Our culture developed through our shared history and experiences. It is what our forefathers passed down through us that assisted us in being the defenders of our rights, that we continue even today. We were an egalitarian society that have always demonstrated their strong connection to community and family. The term ‘Otipemisiwak’ the people that own themselves was another component of the sense of independence that was passed down through the generations. Our culture is a result of our combined ancestor’s cultures and was modified because of the experiences that are grandmothers and grandfathers experienced because of the lifestyles of the voyageurs, buffalo hunters and rebellions. Even the Supreme Court of Canada has supported these views in the Powley decision and the Manitoba Court ruling in relation to the Land Claims does not try to separate the issue of our own cultural identity and heritage.
As for Mr. Frank Goden – I am not angry with him – I respect the fact that he also is a result of his experiences – whether that is Métis, Canadian, American or Russian. As our world changes – maybe the future generations will be a great deal more like Frank’s ideology – where the cultural differences are more confused and cultural integration is more prevalent. In the meantime I will attempt to ensure that my descendents remember our forefathers history, culture, values and beliefs.
Posted by MetisMama at 9:43 AM
Thursday, March 6, 2008
On my previous posted blog ("Land Claims Case - Where will this go?" ): I really appreciate the feedback/debate and enjoy a good passionate discussion – probably like most Métis. I am going to ask all our contributors to first know I will draw a few lines.
I am not racist – I do not support racism and I will not tolerate the racist presentation of undermining First Nation Cultures, Métis Cultures or anyone else’s culture by aiding in posting bigoted views on this blog. The stereotyping and racial profiling that I have witnessed in the name of free speech – is appalling and borders on the same cultural genocide that we are victims of. I believe in what Louis Riel preached about a society that had room for all of its’ parts and valued and respected the differences of each of those. A real multicultural existence.
Cultural Genocide or Assimilation (Rethinking Cultural Genocide Under International Law Human Rights Dialogue: ”Cultural Rights” (April 2005) by David Nersessian
"Cultural Genocide is a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups. Cultural Genocide is directed against the national group as an entity, and the actions involved are directed against individuals, not in their individual capacity, but as members of the national group.
Biological genocide consists of imposing measures calculated to decrease the reproductive capacity of the group, such as involuntary sterilization or forced segregation of the sexes.
Cultural genocide extends beyond attacks upon the physical and/or biological elements of a group and seeks to eliminate its wider institutions. This is done in a variety of ways, and often includes the abolition of a group’s language, restrictions upon its traditional practices and ways, the destruction of religious institutions and objects, the persecution of clergy members, and attacks on academics and intellectuals. Elements of cultural genocide are manifested when artistic, literary, and cultural activities are restricted or outlawed and when national treasures, libraries, archives, museums, artifacts, and art galleries are destroyed or confiscated. "
I do support a Métis Nation, I do believe in Nationalism and I do believe in accountability to our people. I am a proud Metis and I will continue to support that in the presentations that are put forward. I have raised my descendents with the same values and principles that were instilled in me and if the Metis continue to do this - we will not become a fiddle or a sash or be about the occassional moose - but we will continue to be a proud nation that thrives.
Sorry Frank but I will not be posting the last blog comment you submitted. I really hope you don't support those words you took from what appears to be a very racist - not so real journalism - white supremacist blogger. I know the debate gets heated but racism and profiling are always ugly!
Posted by MetisMama at 1:35 PM
Alberta is hosting another Town Hall Meeting in Edmonton on Saturday, March 8, 2008.
The meeting is from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Canadian Native Friendship Centre at 11205 – 101 Street, Edmonton, Alberta.
All Métis are welcome to attend. All the elected Métis leaders invited to attend.
Ron Jones, Métis Captain of the Hunt will moderate the meeting.
This is paid for by Métis community members. There will be a pot luck lunch that day.
The Métis community is responding for the need to ask questions, to be provided with information and to have an understanding of the issues facing the Métis in Alberta.
Posted by MetisMama at 6:01 AM
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
This Letter was posted on the Metis Nation of British Columbia today. The actual letter can be viewed at http://www.mnbc.ca/pdf/pr_news19_2.pdf.
Monday, March 3rd, 2008
Métis National Council
Suite 201, 350 Sparks Street
Re: Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) Leave of Absence
Dear MNC President Chartier,
Please be advised that the MNBC Board of Directors met this past weekend with the majority of the Métis Chartered Community leaders in British Columbia to discuss the current Métis National Council (MNC) developments. MNBC discussed a number of items including the current MNC default of the Health Canada Agreement in January 2008.
MNBC leadership expressed serious concerns in regards to the Health Canada Agreement and specifically the Aboriginal Health Human Resource Initiative (AHHRI) and Aboriginal Health Transition Funds (AHTF). MNC signed the Health Canada Agreement in August 2006 on behalf of the Métis Nation Governing Members, including the MNBC. MNC utilized the Health Canada Agreement to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the MNBC on May 23rd, 2007.
Currently MNC has not met its payment schedule responsibilities identified in Clause 15 of the MoU to support the MNBC AHHRI or AHTF contributions. As a result MNC currently owes MNBC approximately $207 000.00 for this fiscal year and MNBC is seeking clarification to how MNC will address this serious issue. MNBC has fully committed the MNC MoU resources on specific investments including a number of Métis student health scholarships.
Based on these discussions the MNBC Board of Directors have unanimously decided to take an official leave of absence from the MNC Board of Governors and all MNC committee’s effective immediately. Therefore, MNBC would deem it inappropriate for MNC to speak on our behalf in any venue. As of this date, MNBC will be advising all key stakeholders of our intentions as we represent the interests of our Métis Chartered Communities and our Métis citizens.
MNBC will communicate further concerns in writing shortly to provide MNC an opportunity to discuss and address each individual item.
Métis Nation British Columbia
cc Métis National Council Board of Governors
Métis Nation British Columbia Board of Directors
MNBC Métis Chartered Communities
MNBC Governance and Policy Committee’s
ADM Fred Caron, Office of the Federal Interlocutor
ADM Ian Potter, Health Canada
Parliamentary Secretary for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Office of the Federal Interlocutor
Honourable Rob Bruinooge
Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Honourable Chuck Strahl
Posted by MetisMama at 2:07 PM
I have received copy of the Métis National Council audit that was not approved by the delegates at the February Assembly. There actually was three audits – because there had not been an Annual Assembly in the past three years. There are some interesting things of note in the audits. More questions but no answers. Now truthfully, the Chief Administrative Officer – who had signing authority – resigned some months back. The Finance Director – resigned the day before the last assembly. Sound like rats jumping off the sinking ship – maybe.
There are many things that beg scrutiny. Bernie Shore, Auditor both of MMF and MNC had the most bizarre behavior for an Auditor – no questions answered – no facts presented – just unprofessional attitude and drama were available for the delegates at the past MNC Assembly. The Management Letter coming from Mr. Shore did not address concerns that were submitted from government in relation to ineligible expenditures, exorbitant contracts with no measurable and overpayments. There were many questionable issues like the Auditor on several occasions changing the figures on the draft audit – as he audited and adjusted the figures of the Manitoba Métis Federation audit.
In the audit there is recorded numbers of staff being paid wages and benefits in the range of $1,545,000 for the 2007 fiscal year while consultants fees are $1,384,000. When you consider the number of staff and only a few consultants – it begins to look like overpaid consultants suck up a large percentage of the budget. In fact consulting fees took up 15% of the overall budget for the year. We were advised that the Board of Governors advised that they thought a list of contractors should be made available in the audit. Mr. Shore did not agree. (Don’t want to name the friends of Clem and David – hmmm?)
Another 15% ($1,113,475) was used in travel and accommodations. Rent for 2007 on the MNC offices is recorded at just under a quarter of a million dollars. That works out to more then $20,000 per month. Now I know that things are costly in Ottawa – but these figures surely beg someone raising their eyebrows. The Auditor indicates that we have paid over $32,000 in interest on our debts and bank charges. These are just a few of the issues that begin to come forward – I haven’t even begun with the a perusal of the infamous health dollars.
But there is no need for us to carry on at this moment because as I titled this Thank You to the Government of Canada – I was advised that the Board of Governors recieved a letter from the government indicating that there is going to be a complete forensic audit that will finally bring forward the truth. Speculation and innuendos of improprieties will be no more. Government is sometimes slow in reaction but now there will be complete disclosure of the issues plaguing the national organization. Those responsible for the improprieties will be held accountable.
For a couple of our political leaders – the noose is tightening. O’ by the way, this will extend to the dollars transferred from MNC the provincial level (In 2007 this was better then 30% of the overall budget) and it is important to note that ignoring your responsibility as a Board will probably not absolve you of your liability. For those Board members in Manitoba – someone better start paying attention soon!
Posted by MetisMama at 9:11 AM
Sunday, March 2, 2008
As a descendent of the Red River Métis land script people – I have watched the process of the MMF land claim process with interest. My forefathers were given title to river lots along the Red River – as were their children.
Now when we watch this case unfold it is a curiosity to me that we sit in a situation where we do not reside in Manitoba and in fact have not for many generations but yet an organization – that does not represent us – is putting forward a case on behalf of our ancestors. We have not been consulted or made aware of the premise of where this case will end. So does this mean that if David or MMF get a large payout on behalf of our Ancestors that we will then sue the MMF for the damages that may have resulted from the loss of script to our families? Or do we sit and watch MMF do the same with the payout that they would be awarded and mishandle the funds that should have never been theirs? It makes for interesting questions – What damages did the MMF suffer as a result of the loss of various families script. Do they think we would still own all the lands around the river lots and would have not disposed of them for payment – much like many other land holders?
Truthfully – I have looked at this with the thought that it furthers the Métis cause – in spite of where this may take us. Maybe that is one of the things that we have to do as descendents is take one for the Métis cause – which is fine if there is something in place to ensure that the resources that are received are in trust for the future generations of the Métis across Canada. Many of those descendents are not a part of the MMF and David Chartrand does not represent our interests.
In today’s Winnipeg Free Press there was an article pertaining to their view of the status of the case. I know our young Métis lawyer, Jason Madden gave a report recently that does not share views with the article – but as in most things – 10 lawyers will have 20 opinions. You can access the entire article at - http://canadiandimension.com/articles/2008/03/02/1638/
Some interesting exerts are:
Métis running out of options in land claims case
Winnipeg Free Press March 2, 2008
…….The litigation began close to three decades ago. Part of the delay was due to pre-trial sparring and part because of the complexity of the issues. Perhaps the largest reason was because the Métis Federation was anxious to obtain the offer of a financial settlement package that never materialized.
Essentially, the Métis Federation, representing approximately 130,000 Métis people in Manitoba, was seeking a declaration that, between them, the two governments had cheated the Métis people of their entitlement to a land base in Manitoba, when it became a province in 1870. The Métis Federation recognized the impossibility of acquiring a huge land grant well over a century after the event. The Federation hoped to obtain a declaration that in turn would require the governments to provide a financial package of equivalent value.
As things now stand there is no declaration in favour of the Métis Federation and no prospect of financial rewards. And the outlook on appeal is bleak.
….There were numerous issues argued before Judge MacInnes: Did the Métis Federation have the necessary status to bring the action? Was the case out of time either because of the Limitations of Actions Act, or simply because of the inordinate lapse of time? Did Canada and Manitoba owe a fiduciary duty to the Métis people? Was Canada obliged to protect the Métis in the negotiations in the same manner that the interests of Indian people must be protected in treaty negotiations? Judge MacInnes resolved every issue against the Métis Federation.
……Judge MacInnes applied the criteria enunciated by the Supreme Court and came to the only possible conclusion given the evidence before him. The land distributed under the Manitoba Act was not land over which the Métis could validly claim Aboriginal title. End of case.
Within hours of the decision David Chartrand, president of the MMF, gave an interview indicating the intention to appeal the decision. But he went further, and said that he did not expect justice from the Manitoba Court of Appeal, and it would be necessary to proceed to the Supreme Court of Canada to obtain a fair hearing. The same sentiment was implicit in an op-ed article he wrote for the Free Press some weeks later, in which he expressed the hope the case would be before the Supreme Court in three years time.
Chartrand is wrong in his assumption that the Court of Appeal is predisposed to dismiss the appeal. But he is right to be pessimistic about the result. The fact is that the only real hope for success is if the criteria for determining aboriginal title are altered, and only the Supreme Court is in a position to make that decision. Neither Judge MacInnes at trial, nor the Court of Appeal on review of his decision, have the right to alter the criteria laid down by our highest court.
I have a suggestion. Why not bypass the Court of Appeal and go directly to the Supreme Court? The saving in both time and costs would be enormous. At trial a total of nine lawyers appeared for the parties. There could well be two years of work in preparing the matter for a hearing before the Court of Appeal - a hearing that the MMF claims to be an exercise in futility, and for which, for totally different reasons would seem to be a sound prediction. The members of the Court of Appeal who must hear the case would probably be pleased to pass the torch directly to the Supreme Court in a matter that would consume their time and energy, when a spokesperson for the appellants has already predicted a biased result. ......
Charles Huband is a former justice on the Manitoba Court of Appeal.
Just some interesting thoughts for where one might stand and where things might go.
Posted by MetisMama at 5:10 PM